Milkweed bugs are Lygaeidae which are part of the family in the Hemiptera with more than 110 species in 4 subfamilies. Many of the species feed on seeds, although some feed on sap
|Common Name||Milkweed Bug|
|Scientific Name||Oncopeltus fasciatus|
|ID Markings||Orange & black in color. x shaped marking on back|
|Location||North America, Central America, Mexico, Caribbean, Southern Canada|
|Diet||Nectar from flowers, seeds, leaves, and stems of milkweed|
In August, milkweed seed pods are often covered by a collection of little orange and black bugs. These are the nymph of the Milkweed Bug. This is normally the second or third generation for the year.
Adult females deposit their eggs between the crevices between milkweed seed pods and also on the outside of the pods. It takes 4-6 days for the eggs to hatch and the tiny nymphs emerge. Over a month’s time, the nymphs will molt going through 5 instar phases before becoming adults.
Like the Monarch Butterfly, they avoid predators by feeding on milkweed, becoming too bitter and toxic to be eaten.
Best Way To Contain Them In Your Garden
Milkweed bugs complete with the monarchs for milkweed as their food source. If you have a large population of milkweed bugs, the best way to contain them is to pick the bugs off your plants and place them in a bucket of hot, soapy water.
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